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What We Can Learn From The Muppets

The Legacy Jim of Jim Henson

OK so you may think this is in lieu of the upcoming Muppets Movie coming out Thanksgiving, but it got us thinking about the Muppets and Jim Henson himself…  How did the Muppets make such a comeback?  It seemed like they were missing for quite a few years, right?  Well, it comes down to the right marketing, and well, good old fashioned values that have remained intact since the first hand went up a sock and created a talking frog.

 Jim Henson had such a vison for not only the presentation and aesthetic, but for the legacy and impact that these characters would leave.  Here are just a few musings and quotes from various Muppets that share the same vision as Jim Henson, albeit himself and fellow writers.

 

“I believe that we form our own lives, that we create our own reality, and that everything works out best. I know I drive some people crazy with what seems to be ridiculous optimism, but it has always worked out for me.” – Jim Henson

 

“Listening is the first step and the last step.” – Cantus Fraggle

 

Good things about being a frog being green. Sitting in the sun on a lily pad. Having thousands of brothers and sisters. Going to the hop. Playing leapfrog. Having bears and pigs and dogs and chickens as your friends. Getting kissed by princesses hoping to turn you into a handsome prince. – Kermit

 

“Simple is good.” – Jim Henson

 

“If just one person believes in you deep enough and strong enough. Believes in you hard enough and long enough Before you know it, someone else would think “If he can do it, I can do it” Making it two. Two whole people who believe in you. And maybe even you can believe in you too.” – Robin and the Muppet Gang

 

“We see with our eyes. We know with our hearts. Outside…Inside.” – Cantus Fraggle

 

“I guess I was wrong when I said I never promised anyone. I promised me.” – Kermit

 

“Jim was the fellow who uncorked the bottle, you know. He not only uncorked the bottle, he also shook it up.” – Frank Oz

 

“Kermit’s function on the show is very much like my own in that he’s trying to hold together this group of crazies. And that’s not unlike what I do.” – Jim Henson

 

“Jim was a master collaborator, not just because he allowed equal time for everyone’s input, but because he had the ability to validate the input and rank its usefulness at the same time.” – Steve Whitmire

 

“A film is not done by one person. It’s done by a lot of people. I love this whole collaborative aspect. When it works well, you end up with something better than any of us started out to do.” – Jim Henson

 

“Whenever characters become self-important or sentimental in the Muppets, then there’s always another character there to blow them up immediately.” – Frank Oz

 

“When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope still is to leave the world a little better for my having been there.It’s a wonderful life and I love it.” – Jim Henson

 

“I believe that we can use television and film to be an influence for good; that we can shape the thoughts of children and adults in a positive way.”- Jim Henson

 

“Here’s some simple advice: Always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously. And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament.” – Kermit

 

“Jim didn’t think in terms of boundaries at all the way the rest of us do. There are always these fences we build around ourselves and our ideas. Jim seemed to have no fences.” – Jon Stone

 

“If our ‘message’ is anything, it’s a positive approach to life. That life is basically good. People are basically good.” – Jim Henson

 

“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending. We’ve done just what we set out to do Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers, and you.” – Kermit and the Muppets

One scene that resonates in regards to marketing that many can take notes from, is the scene from Muppets Take Manhattan, when Kermit loses his memory and meets Bill, Gill, and Jill.  When asked about their ocean Breeze slogan ideas, Kermit (Phil) simply says what the product does! Simple IS Good, thank you Kermit. Genius!

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